Fletcher or GW Law or Columbia?


nshutchi

So I considered Fletcher as a school to apply to, but my concern about it was the fact that it is not accredited by the ABA. If you wanted a regular Masters or Ph.D. in International Affairs, then it would undoubtly be a great choice, but since you are applying for an LL.M. the fact that it is not accredited by the ABA should be a big consideration. The fact that it is not accreditted may mean that among legal circles (particularly in the U.S.) it will never been seen on the same level as schools like Colombia and NYU, or even GW. Among International Affairs and Public Policy professionals, Fletcher is very well-respected, but if you want a legal job I would recommend going to a school accredited by the ABA. Also, if you are planning on taking the bar exam in a U.S. jurisdiction and do not already have a U.S. J.D. degree, you will run into problems taking the bar exam in a number of different states because Fletcher is not accredited, so you may want to look into this further. While Boston is a wonderful city, New York and Washington D.C. are better cities to be in for international law because of the fact that New York is where the U.N. is located and Washington D.C. is home to a number of international organizations and non-profits that can give you experience that would be relevent to a future career at the U.N. That being said Columbia and NYU are in the same city as the U.N., so if you want to work at the U.N. go to school in New York, so that you can make contacts and possibly even have an internship at the U.N. while getting your LL.M.

So I considered Fletcher as a school to apply to, but my concern about it was the fact that it is not accredited by the ABA. If you wanted a regular Masters or Ph.D. in International Affairs, then it would undoubtly be a great choice, but since you are applying for an LL.M. the fact that it is not accredited by the ABA should be a big consideration. The fact that it is not accreditted may mean that among legal circles (particularly in the U.S.) it will never been seen on the same level as schools like Colombia and NYU, or even GW. Among International Affairs and Public Policy professionals, Fletcher is very well-respected, but if you want a legal job I would recommend going to a school accredited by the ABA. Also, if you are planning on taking the bar exam in a U.S. jurisdiction and do not already have a U.S. J.D. degree, you will run into problems taking the bar exam in a number of different states because Fletcher is not accredited, so you may want to look into this further. While Boston is a wonderful city, New York and Washington D.C. are better cities to be in for international law because of the fact that New York is where the U.N. is located and Washington D.C. is home to a number of international organizations and non-profits that can give you experience that would be relevent to a future career at the U.N. That being said Columbia and NYU are in the same city as the U.N., so if you want to work at the U.N. go to school in New York, so that you can make contacts and possibly even have an internship at the U.N. while getting your LL.M.
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lawfreak

agree to an extent nshutchi. Fletcher is not for people hoping to make career in law firms.

but i don't think that u need to give bar exams in order to work with UN. Fletcher is at the top when it comes to international affair and policy regulations.

as far as building contacts is concerned, I believe that Fletcher has very strong alumni bonding and it would be very helpful for current students studying there. Alumni are well connected and do turn up for conferences, smeninars and workshops. so building contacts should not be a concern there. even other luminaries working for international organizations often visit the college for seminars and workshops.

i have even heard that UN and other international organizations even come for recruitment at Fletcher.

and internship, i think, it will be tough to manage to intern and attend college at the same time. i don't think that once we enroll we have spare time for internship. though we can do it during spring, summer or winter break.

but as far as i know, for those who want to make career and name in the international law, relations, affairs or policy makings, Fletcher is been the dream college.

agree to an extent nshutchi. Fletcher is not for people hoping to make career in law firms.

but i don't think that u need to give bar exams in order to work with UN. Fletcher is at the top when it comes to international affair and policy regulations.

as far as building contacts is concerned, I believe that Fletcher has very strong alumni bonding and it would be very helpful for current students studying there. Alumni are well connected and do turn up for conferences, smeninars and workshops. so building contacts should not be a concern there. even other luminaries working for international organizations often visit the college for seminars and workshops.

i have even heard that UN and other international organizations even come for recruitment at Fletcher.

and internship, i think, it will be tough to manage to intern and attend college at the same time. i don't think that once we enroll we have spare time for internship. though we can do it during spring, summer or winter break.

but as far as i know, for those who want to make career and name in the international law, relations, affairs or policy makings, Fletcher is been the dream college.
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Even if you are interested in practicing in Private International Law, Fletcher might be among the best programs to study International Law, Economics and Business, and to develop your network and career. Look at part of the list of Fletcher LLM Advisory Council on its website (http://fletcher.tufts.edu/llm/advisory.shtml).

Jeffrey Bates, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
John Burgess, Partner, Wilmer Hale
Sean Cote, General Counsel, Polygon Investment Partners LLP
John Crawford, Of Counsel, Jones Day
David Evans, Partner, Chadbourne & Park
S. Donald, Partner , Wilmer Hale
Erika de la Rosa Hennessey, Partner, White & Case
Tom Holt, Partner, K&L Gates, The Fletcher School Board of Overseers
Alejandro Jara, Deputy Director General, World Trade Organization
Rafael Lima, Consultant, Inter American Development Bank
Gabrielle Marceau, Counselor, World Trade Organization
William Meserve, Partner, Ropes & Gray
John Palenberg, Partner, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton
Lon Povich, SVP and General Counsel, BJs Wholesale Club
Jonathan Rosen, VP Investment, Applied Minds
Thomas Sadler, Partner, Latham & Watkins
David Schwartz, Of Counsel, Thompson Hine
Jay Stephens, SVP and General Counsel, Raytheon Company
Michael Strauss, Senior Counsel, World Bank Group (MIGA)
Chibole Wakoli, Intern, Legal Affairs Division, World Trade Organization

Even if you are interested in practicing in Private International Law, Fletcher might be among the best programs to study International Law, Economics and Business, and to develop your network and career. Look at part of the list of Fletcher LLM Advisory Council on its website (http://fletcher.tufts.edu/llm/advisory.shtml).

• Jeffrey Bates, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
• John Burgess, Partner, Wilmer Hale
• Sean Cote, General Counsel, Polygon Investment Partners LLP
• John Crawford, Of Counsel, Jones Day
• David Evans, Partner, Chadbourne & Park
• S. Donald, Partner , Wilmer Hale
• Erika de la Rosa Hennessey, Partner, White & Case
• Tom Holt, Partner, K&L Gates, The Fletcher School Board of Overseers
• Alejandro Jara, Deputy Director General, World Trade Organization
• Rafael Lima, Consultant, Inter American Development Bank
• Gabrielle Marceau, Counselor, World Trade Organization
• William Meserve, Partner, Ropes & Gray
• John Palenberg, Partner, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton
• Lon Povich, SVP and General Counsel, BJ’s Wholesale Club
• Jonathan Rosen, VP Investment, Applied Minds
• Thomas Sadler, Partner, Latham & Watkins
• David Schwartz, Of Counsel, Thompson Hine
• Jay Stephens, SVP and General Counsel, Raytheon Company
• Michael Strauss, Senior Counsel, World Bank Group (MIGA)
• Chibole Wakoli, Intern, Legal Affairs Division, World Trade Organization
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nshutchi

@lawfreak: I did not say you had to take the bar exam in the U.S. to work at the U.N. I just said that going to a school that is not accredited by the ABA would not assist a student wishing to be admitted to a U.S. jurisdiction that allows those who did not go to a U.S. law school to take the bar after completing an LL.M. If the prospective student is interested in being able to take a bar exam in the U.S. this is a factor they should consider when deciding whether they want to go to Fletcher or one of their other choices.
@llmsholder: After looking at the biographies of the people on the list, I found that many of them did not go to Fletcher, and the portion that did, for the most part, have degrees from U.S. law schools (most, if not all of which are ranked in the top 20 law schools in the U.S.). There are a couple of exceptions to this general trend on the list, but I do not feel that is enough people to warrant completing discounting the fact that the school is unaccredited by the ABA. While the people who are on the advisory council may be an indicator of the reputation of the LL.M. program, most people are not going to know who is on the advisory council.
As I said before if you are applying to M.A. or Ph.D. programs, I think this would be a completely different story. But there is something to be said for the fact that if lawyers look down on people with a J.D. from an unaccredited law school, why would people look any more favorably on an LL.M. from an unaccredited school. Whether the fact that it will be looked down upon is or is not warranted based on its accreditation, does not change the fact that people will think that. Therefore, as much as everyone is downplaying the fact that Fletcher is not accredited, it is a relevant piece of information that the applicant should consider before spending thousands of dollars on an LL.M., especially when they have the choice to go to three schools that are accredited and are ranked among the top 20 law schools in the country. I am not saying that someone should choose not to go to Fletcher solely for this reason, but it is a factor that someone should consider.

@lawfreak: I did not say you had to take the bar exam in the U.S. to work at the U.N. I just said that going to a school that is not accredited by the ABA would not assist a student wishing to be admitted to a U.S. jurisdiction that allows those who did not go to a U.S. law school to take the bar after completing an LL.M. If the prospective student is interested in being able to take a bar exam in the U.S. this is a factor they should consider when deciding whether they want to go to Fletcher or one of their other choices.
@llmsholder: After looking at the biographies of the people on the list, I found that many of them did not go to Fletcher, and the portion that did, for the most part, have degrees from U.S. law schools (most, if not all of which are ranked in the top 20 law schools in the U.S.). There are a couple of exceptions to this general trend on the list, but I do not feel that is enough people to warrant completing discounting the fact that the school is unaccredited by the ABA. While the people who are on the advisory council may be an indicator of the reputation of the LL.M. program, most people are not going to know who is on the advisory council.
As I said before if you are applying to M.A. or Ph.D. programs, I think this would be a completely different story. But there is something to be said for the fact that if lawyers look down on people with a J.D. from an unaccredited law school, why would people look any more favorably on an LL.M. from an unaccredited school. Whether the fact that it will be looked down upon is or is not warranted based on its accreditation, does not change the fact that people will think that. Therefore, as much as everyone is downplaying the fact that Fletcher is not accredited, it is a relevant piece of information that the applicant should consider before spending thousands of dollars on an LL.M., especially when they have the choice to go to three schools that are accredited and are ranked among the top 20 law schools in the country. I am not saying that someone should choose not to go to Fletcher solely for this reason, but it is a factor that someone should consider.
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If you want to become only an ''American'' lawyer practicing U.S. law, Fletcher might not be a good option as you have mentioned. We need to note, however, that it would be very difficult for foreign LLM lawyers only with American bar qualifications to beat American JD lawyers in extremely shrinking law markets after the financial crisis and economic depression in the U.S. and Europe.

If you want to become truly an ''Global '' lawyer with international and interdisciplinary perspectives, I still believe that Fletcher might be among the best options. Governmental Affairs, Anti-Corruption, Business Development in Emerging and Frontier Markets, Climate Change, Crisis Management, Political Risk Analysis and so on. The practices of international law firms have been also currently expanding through globalization of business and so many ongoing crises. In such areas, there might be a lot of rooms for foreign but global lawyers to contribute more than U.S. lawyers.

If you really want to get American bar qualification, you can still consider taking a CA bar exam with the qualification of foreign attorney.

If you want to become only an ''American'' lawyer practicing U.S. law, Fletcher might not be a good option as you have mentioned. We need to note, however, that it would be very difficult for foreign LLM lawyers only with American bar qualifications to beat American JD lawyers in extremely shrinking law markets after the financial crisis and economic depression in the U.S. and Europe.

If you want to become truly an ''Global '' lawyer with international and interdisciplinary perspectives, I still believe that Fletcher might be among the best options. Governmental Affairs, Anti-Corruption, Business Development in Emerging and Frontier Markets, Climate Change, Crisis Management, Political Risk Analysis and so on. The practices of international law firms have been also currently expanding through globalization of business and so many ongoing crises. In such areas, there might be a lot of rooms for foreign but global lawyers to contribute more than U.S. lawyers.

If you really want to get American bar qualification, you can still consider taking a CA bar exam with the qualification of foreign attorney.
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Oldtimer

I don't understand the insistence on the name listing. As if all other universities did not have outstanding alumni working in the UN AND big lawfirms. Moreover, did you notice that an 'intern' was listed?

"Chibole Wakoli, Intern, Legal Affairs Division, World Trade Organization"

gimme a break...

So, to summarize, you can learn at Fletcher more or less the same stuff as the others, but it closes a pretty important door (the NY Bar exam). It's easy to say today that you are not interested in taking it, but wait and see what happens once you are there and everybody else is doing it. most people take it not because they want a job in the us, but because it podés to lawfirms that you are very capable. Why close unnecessarily that door? What will be your plan B if you don't get a job at the UN?

I don't understand the insistence on the name listing. As if all other universities did not have outstanding alumni working in the UN AND big lawfirms. Moreover, did you notice that an 'intern' was listed?

"Chibole Wakoli, Intern, Legal Affairs Division, World Trade Organization"

gimme a break...

So, to summarize, you can learn at Fletcher more or less the same stuff as the others, but it closes a pretty important door (the NY Bar exam). It's easy to say today that you are not interested in taking it, but wait and see what happens once you are there and everybody else is doing it. most people take it not because they want a job in the us, but because it podés to lawfirms that you are very capable. Why close unnecessarily that door? What will be your plan B if you don't get a job at the UN?

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"Chibole Wakoli, Intern, Legal Affairs Division, World Trade Organization"

According to Fletcher's webpage about its students (http://fletcher.tufts.edu/llm/students-2008-09.shtml), she just graduated from Fletcher LLM in 2009 and successfully got an internship position at WTO upon her graduation.

This might show how strong Fletcher's reputation and network would help Fletcher LLM students get competitive positions at international organizations and law firms.

"Chibole Wakoli, Intern, Legal Affairs Division, World Trade Organization"

According to Fletcher's webpage about its students (http://fletcher.tufts.edu/llm/students-2008-09.shtml), she just graduated from Fletcher LLM in 2009 and successfully got an internship position at WTO upon her graduation.

This might show how strong Fletcher's reputation and network would help Fletcher LLM students get competitive positions at international organizations and law firms.
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Oldtimer

Good try counsel, but a non-sequitor. To make that argument you would need to determine:
1. The total number of internships given per year (I can tell you they are about 20, people from all over the World, including universities you have never heard of), and
2. How many of those go to Fletcher's alumni every year. Given the importance given to listing one of them as notable, one would imagine it isn't that many...

The only "internships that are considered important at that level are the clerkships to the Supreme Court and, yes, numbers are calculated as I suggest (including by Brian Leitner).

Good try counsel, but a non-sequitor. To make that argument you would need to determine:
1. The total number of internships given per year (I can tell you they are about 20, people from all over the World, including universities you have never heard of), and
2. How many of those go to Fletcher's alumni every year. Given the importance given to listing one of them as notable, one would imagine it isn't that many...

The only "internships that are considered important at that level are the clerkships to the Supreme Court and, yes, numbers are calculated as I suggest (including by Brian Leitner).
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Being fortunate enough to be admitted to Fletcher I find this a very interesting conversation.

The fact that the LLM course is not ABA accredited it is not a problem for me. Australians can take the bar exam in NY regardless, which is the jurisdiction in which the majority of people would like to be admitted. Most states have strict requirements on foreigners practicing there, usually requiring a JD at a US university prior to taking the bar exam. While I agree it should be taken into consideration when deciding on Fletcher, you should find out what the requirements are for your country if you intend to take the bar exam afterwards. It may not matter that it is not an ABA accredited course. I have no intention of practicing in the US after my LLM but I am considering taking the NY bar exam as it would be an excellent addition to my current qualifications.

Being fortunate enough to be admitted to Fletcher I find this a very interesting conversation.

The fact that the LLM course is not ABA accredited it is not a problem for me. Australians can take the bar exam in NY regardless, which is the jurisdiction in which the majority of people would like to be admitted. Most states have strict requirements on foreigners practicing there, usually requiring a JD at a US university prior to taking the bar exam. While I agree it should be taken into consideration when deciding on Fletcher, you should find out what the requirements are for your country if you intend to take the bar exam afterwards. It may not matter that it is not an ABA accredited course. I have no intention of practicing in the US after my LLM but I am considering taking the NY bar exam as it would be an excellent addition to my current qualifications.
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To Oldtimer:
It would not be so useful even if we compare the number of students accepted to international organizations and law firms among different schools. The class size of Fletcher LLM is limited to 25 according its webpage (http://fletcher.tufts.edu/llm/faq.shtml) while that of NYU LLM might be 400+ and Columbia LLM might be 200+.

The important thing is that Fletcher has its LLM advisory council with many international lawyers from international organizations and law firms, that is taking care of these less than 25 LLM students. According to the webpage, Fletcher is also organizes ''High Table'' Luncheon (http://fletcher.tufts.edu/llm/hightable.shtml) and ''Talloires Capstone'' Symposium (http://fletcher.tufts.edu/llm/talloires.shtml) with distinguished international lawyers only for its LLM students. Those arrangements might give Fletcher LLM students superb opportunities to develop personal connections with international law practitioners and professors. Such connection might greatly matter in order to get competitive positions and develop your career in the real world.

I admit that I might be a little biased for Fletcher LLM. I am not sure, however, about whether other ABA-accredited, JD- focused law schools provide such special arrangements for LLM students as Fletcher.

To Oldtimer:
It would not be so useful even if we compare the number of students accepted to international organizations and law firms among different schools. The class size of Fletcher LLM is limited to 25 according its webpage (http://fletcher.tufts.edu/llm/faq.shtml) while that of NYU LLM might be 400+ and Columbia LLM might be 200+.

The important thing is that Fletcher has its LLM advisory council with many international lawyers from international organizations and law firms, that is taking care of these less than 25 LLM students. According to the webpage, Fletcher is also organizes ''High Table'' Luncheon (http://fletcher.tufts.edu/llm/hightable.shtml) and ''Talloires Capstone'' Symposium (http://fletcher.tufts.edu/llm/talloires.shtml) with distinguished international lawyers only for its LLM students. Those arrangements might give Fletcher LLM students superb opportunities to develop personal connections with international law practitioners and professors. Such connection might greatly matter in order to get competitive positions and develop your career in the real world.

I admit that I might be a little biased for Fletcher LLM. I am not sure, however, about whether other ABA-accredited, JD- focused law schools provide such special arrangements for LLM students as Fletcher.
quote

This discussion is very interesting, I was having similar issue with Student India some time ago, only it was American University vs Fletcher University.

I just got a scholarship and get admitted to both university and I needed to make a very soon decision. I tried to look up on the internet but nothing really helped, except that Fletcher was never been listed among law schools in America (just found out why->that the LLM course is not ABA accredited). So what I did was asking to my senior diplomats, whom are also lawyers, and their answer was:
1. The best uni would be Yale and Harvard;
2. Between Georgetown vs American University vs Fletcher:
(more or less): If you are a lawyer and would like to keep
urself as one then you should take AU, if you are a lawyer
who would like to honing your capacity in diplomacy and
international community then it is definitely Fletcher.
and I decided Fletcher.

Considering the job you'd like to get, I will suggest you take Fletcher.

Good luck.

PS. I just cross very interesting statement regardingwhy taking LLM in Fletcher:
http://adam-markus.blogspot.com/2008/05/adcom-q-fletchers-llm-program.html

http://www.llm-guide.com/board/86219

hope it helps

This discussion is very interesting, I was having similar issue with Student India some time ago, only it was American University vs Fletcher University.

I just got a scholarship and get admitted to both university and I needed to make a very soon decision. I tried to look up on the internet but nothing really helped, except that Fletcher was never been listed among law schools in America (just found out why->that the LLM course is not ABA accredited). So what I did was asking to my senior diplomats, whom are also lawyers, and their answer was:
1. The best uni would be Yale and Harvard;
2. Between Georgetown vs American University vs Fletcher:
(more or less): If you are a lawyer and would like to keep
urself as one then you should take AU, if you are a lawyer
who would like to honing your capacity in diplomacy and
international community then it is definitely Fletcher.
and I decided Fletcher.

Considering the job you'd like to get, I will suggest you take Fletcher.

Good luck.

PS. I just cross very interesting statement regardingwhy taking LLM in Fletcher:
http://adam-markus.blogspot.com/2008/05/adcom-q-fletchers-llm-program.html

http://www.llm-guide.com/board/86219

hope it helps
quote
nshutchi

The other reason that you never see Fletcher listed is that it is not a law school. There is no JD program at Fletcher, and therefore it is not going to be ranked in the law school rankings.

The other reason that you never see Fletcher listed is that it is not a law school. There is no JD program at Fletcher, and therefore it is not going to be ranked in the law school rankings.
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